I was a college student at the time. I was just about to finish with a degree in business from the University of North Texas. For about a year, I had been going to a new church in Dallas. At this church, I met many people who would make a real contribution to my life. One of these people was Steve, a friend now for many years.
One day, I went with Steve to Baylor Hospital in Dallas to visit someone from our church. We pulled into the parking lot and he saw the "Clergy Parking." As I recall, he said, "Let’s park there, after all we are ministers." He had been listening to what was being preached and taught in our church. EVERYONE is a minister. God uses everyone in the body of Christ to minister to other people. We are all gifted and empowered by the Spirit for ministry. Yes, we knew whom those parking spaces were for but we were college students and prone to sometimes act quickly and think later.
Whether one is in "full-time ministry" or whether one is a minister in the general sense (as my friend Steve was thinking), there are four components to ministry that need attention. These components are:
- Being — What am I becoming? Am I becoming Christlike? Is Christ really being formed in me?
- Knowing — What do I know? Am I growing in my knowledge of Scripture? Am I growing in my knowledge of God?
- Relating — How do I relate to people? Am I able to connect with people? If I look back at my relationships with people, are there any unhealthy patterns that emerge? Do I keep running into the same relational walls no matter where I live?
- Doing — Do I seriously intend to live as a Christ-follower? Is my life characterized by an intention to obey the Lord in every area of my life?
(These four components are not original with me, but I do not recall the source.)
So often, many of us neglect one or more of these components. Perhaps we are incredibly busy doing good things but we are not really "becoming." That is, there may not be much attention given to our own formation into the likeness of Jesus. Or, we may know much about the Bible but we can’t seem to deal with people. We may regularly teach or preach but then we explode with anger at people who do not affirm our work.
What about you? Given this breakdown, which component of ministry would you say needs special attention in your life?